Making Ferric Oxalate
"Many years ago I got in a discussion with Dick Sullivan about his ferric powder on the Alt photo list. I had used B&S ferric since 1983 after Tom Millea stopped making a liquid for us. I have known Dick for a long time.
Experiments were being done by my ex business partner John Rudiak and David Michael Kennedy to try and improve BA&S powder or at least make it in line with the conversation. "
That conversation if I recall correctly, was about solution strength and the addition of EDTA tetra sodium and oxalic acid. If you have a powder of an ill defined substance, the best you can hope to claim, is that if you mix this powder at this concentration than you can have a % based solution of this powder; not of the pure substance at the base of the solution. The addition of Ferric Nitrate, little purple crystals, EDIT tetra sodium, and any other solid will be a part of the solid put into solution. Do they aide in the uniformity of the solution? perhaps. do they convert ferrous to ferric? They are part of the "whole" and that whole gives you a Sp Gr for your solution and by weight/volume a solution %.
The conversation that I refer to was one that took place on the Alt Photo Process list over 12 years ago. The conversation as best as I recall was about making ferric oxalate and % of ferric, and many issues.
I don't belive that I, Dick Stevens, or anyone else has said that using Sp Gar is a way to measure the absolute purity of Ferric Oxalate and I find it hard to believe that anyone would. What is being promoted is that a strong correlation exist between Sp Gr and active ferric oxalate. There is no doubt that solutions that I have made and those that were tested by the chemistry department at Notre Dame University for Dick Stevens show this correlation.
Ferric Oxalate has been referred to as an "ill defined" substance by Mike Ware. I think that most people would agree. That being said, does it really matter? If you follow the say procedures, time after time, and the results can be duplicated both in practical senses of Sp Gr and in print speed and color, then what does it really matter? Bad science is bad science and sloppy lab work, will produce inconstant results.
It should be obvious to all that this is a touchy spot with B&SA. I did not imply that Rudiak and Kennedy struggled those were Kevins words.
"But I don't think it excuses Eric Nelsen from posting third-hand misinformation which slights BA&S without telling the whole truth." again kevins words... I refer to events that happened in the first person. Kevin if you have a problem with my recollection, send these people a link to the original conversation. What went on between you, your father, John and Michael was of course not in my view.
And as I said before, "Concentration of your liquid can be best estimated by specific gravity". You can then test it by making a print.
I have not used B&S ferric since 1994, I make no claims to it's purity. The question was, Can you make ferric oxalate either as a powder or liquid? Yes to both. Can you make it economically? yes. Better yet, once you can, you can rely on yourself to make prints with one less middle man.
I am not in the business of selling alt process chemistry as my main endeavor, but I will not have my name dragged through the BS of B&S marketing. Because I stand up for alternative sources for information, chemistry and methods not being sold through the B&S pipe line does not give the good people at B&S the right the suggest I practice bad science.
with all due respect,